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Another question about P90's...

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Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 837
Topic starter  

My guitar is a Squier '51 and while I love the guitar, I can't stand the bridge pickup. The humbucker sounds very harsh to my I was thinking of GFS pickups. All reviews say they are great.

And I was thinking "why not get some P90's?" They're only about $30 but I'm wondering...would these work correctly with a '51? Would it even fit?

Also how tough would it be to replace the humbucker? How much soldering would have to be done(I have no experience with this).

Thank you.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038

GFS sells a P90 in a humbucker size that will be drop-in. You will lose the coil tap (pull on volume control), as a P90 is a single coil pup and not splittable or tapped. However the volume up position could be use for phase switching or to insert a resistor cap to get a fixed tone roll-off (I would put a miniature pot and cap inside the control cavity and use the switch to dis/connect those in the jack circuit. That way you could experiment to find the tone position you would use the most - then set and seal in the cavity. Here is one of the several humbucker style P90s that GFS sells:

I don't mind the 51 humbucker, as I expected high-output and a bit of harshness at full on volume. What I thought needed improvement was the neck pup. So far, I have routed the slanted neck pup cavity to take soapbar P90s on two of my project '51s. Loving the results. The first one has a somewhat aggressive Reverend P90 that I bought direct from Reverend surplus (not cheap). It sounds nice and crunchy or smooth, round and jazzy depending on volume setting. On the second, I'm installing the less expensive GFS P90, and may replace the 'bucker with a GFS Fat PAF.

Here's the first one I did while in progress (on the left) with its not-yet modded sister:

I did a few other changes: string-thru-body tail conversion, pup selector => Les Paul style toggle, MOTS pickguard ...

-=tension & release=-